Voi implements artificial sound to protect pedestrians with sight loss

Voi is installing sound on e-scooters in three cities to combat pavement riding and help protect pedestrians with sight loss as part of the trial of e-scooters across the UK.

The brand’s engineers have designed a bespoke ‘low hum’ which will be added to Voi’s bright coral e-scooters to alert other road users that an e-scooter is approaching. The noise replicates the types of artificial engine noise introduced on electric cars in recent years and can be adapted and improved by Voi, based on feedback from users and the visually impairment community.

Testing e-scooter sounds
Over the next three months between June to August, Voi will be adding the sound to 60 e-scooters in its three largest cities; Birmingham, Liverpool and Bristol. The micromobility company will be running in-person testing events with sight loss organisations and local authorities to get their feedback on the sound in a real-world environment. Voi will be working with the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) to manage the sessions as part of a wider collaboration to ensure people with sight loss are not adversely affected by e-scooter pilots.

The e-scooter sound pilot will run alongside a formal written consultation to gather feedback from visual impairment organisations, local authorities and police forces regarding the use of artificial vehicle alert systems. Voi will also reach out to Voi riders via email, prompting a questionnaire to identify whether the sound impacted the user experience.

At the end of the three months, Voi will work with the RNIB to assess the feedback and publish its findings.

Jack Samler, general manager at Voi UK and Ireland, said: “This is the latest pilot as part of our partnership with the RNIB to address mobility issues faced by blind and partially sighted people. We’re looking forward to testing the new sound in the West of England, Birmingham and Liverpool and evaluating the impact it has during the trials.”

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